Washing veggies, fruit for pesticides

BURNING QUESTIONS

June 06, 2007|By Erica Marcus | Erica Marcus,Newsday

Will washing fruit and vegetables get rid of the pesticides? What about those commercial produce-washing liquids in the supermarket?

Washing will significantly reduce pesticide residue on the surface of fruit and vegetables.

Last year, the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station published a study titled, "Removal of Trace Pesticide Residues From Produce." The author, Walter J. Krol, tested a wide variety of produce for 12 insecticides and found that a short rinse in tap water significantly reduced the presence of all but three of them.

Next, he tested rinsing in water alone against using commercial fruit-and-vegetable washes FIT, Environni Fruit & Vegetable Wash (formerly VegiWash), Organiclean and Vegi-Clean (now sold as Pro-San). He treated 28 groups of three kinds of produce (lettuce, tomatoes and strawberries) with each of the washes, as well as with a 1 percent solution of Palmolive dish-washing liquid. After the treatment, the produce was rinsed under tap water for one minute.

Krol then compared the pesticide residue with that of produce that had simply been rinsed under tap water for one minute. He found "little or no difference between tap-water rinsing or using a fruit-and-vegetable wash in reducing residues."

Erica Marcus writes for Newsday.

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